We're five weeks into the challenge, so you should know the drill by now. If not, check out Ric's Picks' debut post and get caught up.
UFC Fight Night 37 was a strange one, so let's talk about that card first and then move on to UFC 171.
Bet: Davey Grant (-115)
Wager: 20 units
Davey Grant was one of my most confident picks on the card, but his bout with Roland Delorme was scrapped after Grant disclosed a knee injury. I'm just glad Grant didn't fight injured, put on a stinker, and lose me some units. Hoping for a speedy recovery.
Wager: 15 units
Result: LOST 15 units
Luke Barnatt came in and took care of business as I knew he would, but Cyrille Diabate got dismantled. The red flags I mentioned in my breakdown (especially the looming retirement) are still taunting me. It was a very silly bet.
UFC Fight Night 37 Result: -15 units
Total After Four Events: 92.12 units
I've finally dipped below the original 100 units and it's fitting that UFC Fight Night 37 was the card to do it. The first few events to start this challenge have been difficult for me to get a read on and sparse on favorable lines, but that all changes with UFC 171. Here we go.
Bet: Tyron Woodley (+165)
Wager: 30 units
Potential Winnings: 49.5 units
It goes without saying that I really like Tyron Woodley in his match-up with Carlos Condit. The effective gameplan against Condit is no secret; he's an aggressive striker, with diverse attacks, a non-stop motor, and some of the worst takedown defense I've ever seen. Woodley will be able to get deep on takedowns and bring Condit to the mat at will. Condit has proven to be dangerous from his back, but at the first sign of danger, Woodley can back off, reset, and take Condit right back down if he needs to. Having that knowledge is powerful, and I could even see Woodley being competitive on the feet since the wrestling is in his back pocket should things go south.
Wager: 25 units
Potential Winnings: 33.93 units
Hector Lombard and Myles Jury have favorable skill sets to their respective opponents on paper. That said, they will both need to overcome two things to win: relentless pace and the judges.
Jake Shields breaks opponents by stifling their offense with continuous takedown attempts and clinchwork against the cage. He will stick to that gameplan no matter how many times he's stuffed. It's truly remarkable. If Lombard succumbs to the pressure and gets tentative, he will lose a decision to Shields. I don't see that happening though. At 170, Lombard does not suffer from the size disadvantage that plagued him at 185. His takedown defense is incredible and if he brings the same aggression shown against Nate Marquardt, it's not hard to imagine the notoriously tough-chinned Shields being put to sleep. Lombard doesn't need a knockout to win (as long as he can stay upright and off the cage), but Shields has a knack for winning decisions.
Diego Sanchez probably should have dropped decisions to Martin Kampmann and Takanori Gomi, but like Shields, he has an uncanny ability to sway the judges by staying busy. It's fun to watch, but in terms of competitive excellence, he has not looked good in quite some time. Myles Jury is well rounded and has shut down better wrestlers than the current iteration of Sanchez. Outside of intangibles (like heart, determination, and other cliches that normally make you roll your eyes, but when applied to Sanchez just elicit a smile and agreeing nod), Jury should be better in all facets of the game.
Bet: Myles Jury wins by decision (+140)
Wager: 10 units
Potential Winnings: 14 units
I've got quite a bit on Jury's shoulders for this card. *fingers crossed*
Bet: Tyron Woodley wins by TKO/KO (+900)
Wager: 5 units
Potential Winnings: 45 units
I don't think this outcome is very likely, but I'll take a flyer on Woodley's power at 9:1 at this stage in the challenge (especially with ground and pound in play).
I thought about a wager on Robbie Lawler as well, because the line is off in my opinion, but ultimately I like Johny Hendricks to mix power shots and takedowns en route to victory -- could be a stoppage or a decision depending on his gameplan. No dice.
At Risk: 70 units
Potential Profit: 142.43 Units
DISCLAIMER: I do not recommend betting units that resemble the amounts wagered in this competition. Due to its nature, I am attempting to profit at an advanced rate and risking significantly more than is advisable for proper bankroll management. Please evaluate the breakdowns provided and adjust accordingly.